Monday, February 7, 2022

Short Romance Reviews - The Awakening + Almost Just Friends


Romance has been probably my most neglected genre in the last few years.  I barely read any in 2021 but I have been missing it so thought I'd give a couple a try.

Goodreads:  The Awakening by Nora Roberts

I hesitated before picking this one up.  I'm not a big reader of fantasy but I've been on a bit of a binge listen of Nora Roberts in the last few months and decided to pick up one of her fantasy titles.  I'm so glad I did!  This reminded me a bit of her older book Jewels from the Sun mixed with her newer Guardian trilogy.  Breen is my favorite type of Roberts heroine. She's spent most of her life uncomfortable in her own skin and trying to live by someone else's standards which makes her miserable.  As she spends more time in Ireland trying to discover more about her father she gains more and more confidence and learns more about herself and her heritage then she ever could have guessed.  Roberts does a good job of writing fantasy for non-fantasy readers as the world is similar enough that I can visualize it but with way different rules.  I enjoyed this listen and have already put the 2nd book on hold.  Unlike most of the trilogies I've read from Roberts previously this focuses on one character versus each book focusing on a different character/couple.  My Rating: Really Liked It

Goodreads:  Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis used to be one of my most read authors but for some reason it's been awhile since I've picked up any books by her.  I grabbed this one on a whim because my library had the audio available and I did enjoy it.  The Manning family has some serious baggage and a lot of past demons to work through.  The main character and oldest sister Piper Manning took me some getting used to as she is a bit of a high strung disaster.  Her hand wringing and list making and ability to stumble into disaster got old as well did her judginess with her siblings.  As well some of the snappy dialogue felt a bit forced at times.  But at the end I did end up enjoying this one.  It's a good romance with a solid family story intertwined with it.  While it make my favorites list this is an author I will read more from this year.   My Rating: Liked It


  1. Okay I've just put The Awakening right up to the top of my TBR. The good thing is the second one is already out.

  2. I really need to read The Awakening. I have had that book on my shelf for a while. Jill Shalvis is always enjoyable.

  3. I have been reading and loving Jill Shalvis lately. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Both fantastic authors. I listened to Roberts series and love it.

  5. I loved The Awakening! I agree with you; I think Nora Roberts is moving toward more fantasy, less romance in that arena. I don't think her last trilogy (Chronicles of the One) had a different couple's romance in each book, either. (I haven't read that trilogy yet; since it starts out with a pandemic, I was afraid it would cut a little too close to home.) I mean, there's still a romantic thread running through The Awakening, and the Dragon Heart Legacy trilogy as a whole may qualify as fantasy-romance, but the emphasis seems to be on the fantasy... which is fine with me, since I love a good fantasy!

  6. I have been wanting to read The Awakening. I am glad to hear you liked it!